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Sooners: Previewing Texas Tech And Its Potent Offensive Attack

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One week after drilling Kansas State, the Sooners will be back home on Saturday when they host Texas Tech at 2:30 p.m. Here’s a breakdown of what OU will see out of the Red Raiders.

10/22/15 Sooner Spotlight: Ty Darlington

Offense

When talking about Texas Tech, it’s important to really stress how good its offense can be. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury fits in nicely around Big 12 country, and he’s continued the high-octane offensive ways of his former Red Raider coach Mike Leach. Tech ranks third in the nation in points per game with 49.4, while totaling 623.7 yards per contest.

Led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the Red Raiders are very capable of putting up big numbers in any given game. Mahomes has thrown for 2,618 yards this season to go with 20 touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 85.5. The Sooners will have to make sure they contain Mahomes on the ground as well. The quarterback has six scores with his legs along with 234 rushing yards.

Mahomes’ top option through the air is wide receiver Jakeem Grant. The 5-7 speedster has hauled in 49 catches this season for 719 yards and four touchdowns. Grant isn’t the only playmaker at wideout, and Mahomes has plenty of options in the Tech offense. Davis Reginald has 358 yards through the air to go with five touchdowns, and Devin Lauderdale’s totaled 373 yards and three scores.

Running back DeAndre Washington is another legit offensive option for the Red Raiders. Washington’s rushed for 743 yards and seven touchdowns, while his backup Justin Stockton can also get the job done when given carries.

The running backs may be without one of their best blockers in offensive lineman Le’Raven Clark, who suffered a right leg injury in their game against Kansas last week.  

Tech plays just as quickly as the Sooners, if not quicker, so we can expect the Red Raiders to get off a lot of plays. It’ll be up to OU’s ninth ranked pass defense to try and slow down Kingsbury’s lethal attack. OU will need to continue to get big performances out of Zack Sanchez and Jordan Thomas if they want to walk away with a win over a conference opponent.  

Defense

If we thought the Sooners put up a lot of points against Kansas State last week (55), then who knows what OU will be able to do to a Texas Tech defense that ranks among the worst in all of college football.

It’s not a difficult task to move the first down markers against the Red Raiders, as they’ve allowed opposing offenses to average 553 yards per game. One thing Tech can do is force turnovers and it ranks 11th nationally in that category. J.J. Gaines (40 tackles, 4 INT) is a playmaker in the defensive backfield along with Tevin Madison (37 tackles, 2 INT, 2 FR).

Linebacker Dakota Allen leads the Red Raiders in tackles with 62 followed by Micah Awe (57 tackles). Look for linebacker Pete Robertson, and defensive linemen Branden Jackson and Gary Moore to make some noise with their pass rush against an average OU offensive line.

Special teams

Grant’s a very good return man for the Red Raiders, and he’s a threat to take one to the house at any time. With punter Taylor Symmank (46.6 avg) and kickers Clayton Hatfield and Michael Barden, Tech has a very solid special teams unit.

Key Storyline

If you didn’t know yet, Baker Mayfield used to be the quarterback at Texas Tech just two seasons ago. That year, he started the season 6-0, and was awarded Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year. After an injury sidelined him halfway through the year, Mayfield was demoted from his starting position and he opted to transfer to OU.

Mayfield will have motivation to play well in this game, and he should put up big numbers against Texas Tech’s defense. 

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